LONDON (16 Jan) – Heavyweight world champion Bermane Stiverne has vowed to make Deontay Wilder a forgotten man by defeating the knockout king this weekend.
The pair clash at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in what is one of the most highly-anticipated heavyweight bouts in years, with Haitian hitman Stiverne promising to send the 29-year-old Wilder into the wilderness.
The bout, live and exclusive on BoxNation, is predicted to be the American’s toughest test to date with Stiverne in no doubts that he will retain his WBC belt and put an end to the hype surrounding the charismatic Wilder.
“It’s going to be a real fight, a fight like you’ve never seen before. I’m no cab driver, I’m no one-hit wonder, this is the real deal. This belt here isn’t going anywhere. This green belt is staying right here in this green hotel,” said Stiverne.
“Everyone who has supported me, you won’t be disappointed. I’ve seen plenty of guys like Wilder, even guys who talk more than him.
“This is a real fight and this belt is staying right here in my home town. You’re going to get hurt, the worst thing you did was have me take you seriously, and I’m taking you seriously.
“This is going to be a terrific fight. After this fight you will never ever hear about Deontay Wilder,” he said.
The 36-year-old, who will make the first defence of his world title after winning the belt vacated by the retired Vitali Klitschko, in a sixth round stoppage of Mexican-American Chris Arreola last May, says the fight will not go the distance.
“It’s going to be a short night. It’s going to be painful – really painful. And I will send him home with no belt. If he has not gone past four rounds, that is not my business ‐ that is his business,” said Stiverne.
“All I have to say is that after Saturday, all the people that had questions about this man will get the answers – more than the answers. I don’t care if he went twenty‐four rounds or whatever it is. It doesn’t matter. All I am saying is I can’t wait,” he said.
The brash and exciting Wilder, who has put to sleep all of his 32 opponents, is in confident mood and has called on those questioning his credentials not to go back on their word should he become the first American heavyweight champion since Shannon Briggs.
“Many people wrote me off early in my career. People say I’m not supposed to be here. People still write me off and I thank them for that. Because when they write me off I still go to another level and push forward,” said Wilder.
“When I do the unexpected, I don’t want you all to degrade this man, Stiverne. I don’t want anyone to make excuses for my victory. Stick by your word. Let this be a test for me and watch me pass my test. I guarantee I will do it,” he said.
It’s been nearly eight years since Briggs held his WBO title, since then the American heavyweight scene has yearned for a fighter to take on the mantle of past greats, with the unbeaten Wilder believing he is ready to take on that challenge.
“You are all in for a treat. I’ve never been so ready to whoop a man. There’s been a lot of talk, a lot of stuff on social media. But through all that, it’s been real. I don’t play games. It doesn’t get any realer than this. We risk our lives every time in that ring,” Wilder said.
“If you only knew the whooping I’m going to put on this boy, you all want the first American champ, but this is for me. I am not scared to walk with my head held high because I am ready for any test.
“It’s my time to make history and becoming the first American heavyweight champion in a very long time. This is where I come in and give them their heavyweight world champion. I have arrived and I am here to stay for a very long time,” he said.
This weekend’s bill will also see thrilling WBC super-bantamweight world champion Leo Santa Cruz take on the sturdy Jesus Ruiz, with rising light-welterweight prospect Amir Imam facing big punching Fidel Maldonado Jr.
Stiverne vs Wilder is live on BoxNation (Sky 437/490HD, Virgin 546, TalkTalk 525) this Saturday night. Visit boxnation.com to subscribe.